By Ross Forman (pictured above with Kevin Nash)
PHILADELPHIA (August 8, 2008) - As usual, the first 20 minutes of my run today was the most difficult of the whole thing.
Let’s see, the iPod started with Viva La Vida from Coldplay, followed by 4 Minutes from Madonna, featuring Justin Timberlake and Timbaland. That was a dynamic duo of songs to kick off my 18-mile run; I couldn’t have been more pumped as I started running at 6 a.m., by myself along this city’s newest riverfront destination, Schuylkill Banks, home to greenways, parks, docks, the nation’s leading educational institutions, award-winning residential developments and active industrial sites.
But then the iPod’s battery went out. Ugh, to put it mildly.
About 10 minutes into the three hour run, already a wee bit ticked at the iPod, which I was certain I had charged, I came across some sprinklers. Not just one or two sprinklers, but about seven or eight, and there really was no way to run around them. So of course I ran through them. (On the way back, that was actually fun running through the water, but I didn’t really want to do it at the start. Oh well.)
Next on the hit list, the old Timex Ironman watch. As I tried to change my interval settings for this longer run, I tried to program it for four minutes, but accidentally did it for four hours. And it took me multiple attempts to figure it out, amazingly. That college degree from Indiana University didn’t seem to do much for me in my battle against the Timex watch. But eventually I fixed it, thankfully.
The three hour-plus run was scenic, but rather boring. There weren’t too many runner or cyclists out, thus, not much eye-candy to enjoy along the route. Hey, without music, ya gotta entertain yourself somehow.
I ran the entire 18 miles and only talked to one runner – a girl from Iran who told me I could get some water at the Philadelphia Canoe Club. And I did just that. Thanks!
Otherwise, it was just me, my bottle filled with an energy drink mix from Infinit Nutrition, a package of Gu (strawberry-banana) and some small bags of pretzels, courtesy of the United Airlines’ Red Carpet Club in Chicago.
This was, in the end, my best long run. In fact, it was better than my 14-miler and certainly better than my 16-miler two weeks ago, when my calves tightened up at about the 12-mile mark, giving me intense pain as I even tried to run.
The Amsterdam Marathon is Oct. 19 and I couldn’t be happier. I had a great training run today, as Coach Katie predicted, and now truly am excited – not nervous – for the last two long training runs (20- and 23-miles).
All of the running and the countless hours training are done to raise funds for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. I’m very grateful to all who have – or will – sponsor me and, in the process, help the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. Donations can be made at: www.firstgiving.com/rossruns